At the Bharathidasan Engineering College near Natrampalli in the Vellore district in southern India, a bus driver only identified as Kamaraj gets the unluckiest first for human-kind. The first to be killed by a meteorite.
The official cause of death was an explosion. An explosion that injured three others and broke nearby windows. With no forensics to support a bomb blast, terror and sabotage were ruled out.
The cause of death was an explosion, which also injured three others and smashed nearby windows. Initially it was thought to be a blast from a bomb, but forensic and bomb experts found no explosive substances at the scene.
“Not a single ingredient pertaining to any kind of explosive was found at the site. We suspect it to be a meteorite fall” said a police officer.
A small crater was found about 4 feet deep in the ground which is being scrutinized by scientists.
Crater formed due to meteor impact at Nattrampalli, vellore. looks like a powerful impact. pic.twitter.com/POlim224pn
— Prashanth (@itisprashanth) February 7, 2016
The blast happened early on February 6th and Kamaraj was pronounced dead at the hospital. It is uncertain whether he died from a direct hit and impact or from the blast.
Kamaraj gets the unluckiest distinction of being the first human in recorded history to be killed by a meteorite. A dog was thought to be hit and killed in Egypt in 1911 but the body was never found, leaving it a mystery.
In 1954 a 34 year old Alabama woman was struck by a meteorite that plunged through her roof striking her while she was laying on the couch. Ann Elizabeth Hodges left that crazy encounter with severe bruising.
The Chelyabinsk meteor injured hundreds in Russia when it exploded above the ground in February 2013, but no fatalities.
Some scientists remain skeptical about this reported death from a meteorite, however. Associate professor Dipankar Banerjee of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) said he thought it may have been satellite junk, and not a space rock, that caused the event. “I will be very surprised if such a thing happened because of a meteor shower,” he said, reported The New Indian Express. “Normally meteor showers are traceable and there are predictions for this. But there was no prediction of this.”
Just an undetected meteor shower could be big news of itself, but not unheard of. The Chelyabinsk meteorite was a surprise and an unidentified meteorite was reported in Denmark over the weekend.